Balkan OGP Dialogue: Tirana, 10-11 September
It is less than a week now from the convening of Western Balkan OGP Dialogue, a conference that will bring together central and local governments as well as civil society organizations from a region much wider than the Western Balkans. It is quite remarkable how partnering civil society organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Albania have managed to coordinate with respective governments, parliaments in coming together for the first time in this event within the OGP framework. As civil society representative, I am happy to announce that we come to this event with a consolidated partnership with the government of Albania and especially the Minister Milena Harito that holds the obligations of National OGP coordinator.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is our keynote speaker at the opening plenary session, with an audience of more than 500 participants. We consider the event a milestone not only for Albania but for all of our Western Balkan partnering institutions in sharing; deepening our knowledge, reinforcing commitments, reviewing National Action Plans, learning from best practices etc. What I believe as the greatest achievement is consolidating the partnership approach between governments and civil society in a perspective that would be considered more regionally than locally.
With this in mind we hope to have OGP Regional Dialogue a permanent regional forum for improving governance, increasing accountability, reducing corruption, involving citizens, sharing practices but also building confidences among national societies in order that the region becomes a better place for all of its citizens.
We are also happy to announce that we expect to have the presence of champions of OGP from many European countries from close neighbors like Croatia, Romania, Turkey to Georgia, Estonia, UK, and US etc.
The two day event in Tirana will also be an excellent opportunity for better linking Western Balkan region with OGP stakeholders globally.